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A big scoop from Politico, or as Charlie Pierce so aptly calls it, Tigerbeat on the Potomac: The traditional media was entirely on the side of the 90 percent of America in thinking the Senate totally embarrassed itself by not passing something as smart as expanded background checks on gun sales. Here's the opening.
If you thought President Obama was outraged after the Senate killed the plan to expand background checks on guns, you should have seen some members of the press.
Even by the standards of today’s partisan media environment, the response has been noteworthy. Television hosts, editorial boards, and even some reporters have aggressively criticized and shamed the 46 Senators who opposed the plan, while some have even taken to actively soliciting the public to contact them directly.
The decision by some members of the media to come down so firmly on one side of a policy debate has only served to reinforce conservatives’ longstanding suspicions that the mainstream media has a deep-seated liberal bias."
Then a quote from Bill Kristol, reaffirming their speculation: “I guess the liberal media get annoyed when Senators listen to their constituents and think for themselves, rather than doing the media’s bidding." Then they point out the heavy-news hitters like Mika Brzezinski, Peirs Morgan, and Ariana Huffington who all focused on the 46 votes against the expanded background check compromise amendment.
Here's the thing about those senators. They didn't listen to their constituents, unless by constituents you mean the gun lobby. If they had listened to their constituents—even in Arksansas—the outcome on at least the background check amendment would have been 72-28. What should be the role of the media if not to point that out?
Here's a clue, Politico, your house is pretty transparent and fragile. You might want to skip the media criticism next time around.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM PDT.